Tommy Patrio SoronganCNBC Indonesia
Wednesday 06/09/2023 10:10 a.m. WIB
Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The G20 summit will soon be held in India. Leaders of 20 major countries around the world, including Indonesia, will meet in New Delhi to discuss solutions to current global problems.
Behind this high-level event, the G20 India Summit presents another facet. The “unrest” was caused by residents whose homes were displaced because of the plan to host the summit.
One of them is Devi. He was among tens of thousands of New Delhi’s most marginalized residents who were forced to leave their homes in the run-up to the G20 meeting, as authorities launched mass demolition efforts in neighborhoods across the city. city.
Devi, originally from the Pragati Maidan area, is now forced to live in a makeshift tent on a nearby sidewalk, without escaping the scorching summer heat. He said no one helped him find other shelter.
“We are very angry, but poverty makes us helpless. We cannot express ourselves,” Devi said. CNN InternationalTuesday (05/9/2023).
The Indian government justified the demolition by saying the building was “illegal”. The government intends to resettle some of the affected communities.
But activists question the timing. They claimed the demolition was part of a “beautification” project, a campaign to rid the city of beggars and slums in order to impress foreign dignitaries.
The image of India that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to project at the G20 is that of a modern superpower, a leader of the Global South and a voice for poor countries. However, the government is accused of hiding one of the country’s deepest and most persistent problems, poverty.
“What surprised me the most is that India, the Indian state, is embarrassed by its obvious poverty,” said Harsh Mander, a social activist who works with homeless families and children of streets.
“They don’t want poverty to be visible to the people who come here,” he added.
This is not the first time that the Indian government has carried out slum demolitions ahead of a large-scale international event. In 2010, when the Indian National Congress, now the opposition party, came to power, the government evicted slums ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Mander, a social activist, said it was unfair for the government to target poor families living on unauthorized land.
“The government does not admit that illegal acts were committed against these poor people. This is because the city was planned in such a way that there is no place where they can live legally. The destruction are carried out in a very cruel manner.” » added Mander.
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